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Andrew Binstock

Property Auction Tips

Top Tips from Andrew Binstock:
Professional auctioneer and co-founder of AuctionYourProperty.com

Tips for Sellers

  1. Give yourself about 6 weeks between listing your property and the actual auction date. Any less and you may find that potential buyers will not have enough time to view the property and carry out the necessary due diligence required for them to make a confident bid. Conversely you don't want to put off buyers by having your auction months away either.
  2. It seems obvious but first impressions count. When you are conducting a viewing, make sure your home is tidy and looks its best. Open the curtains and let the light in. Show off any special features ie if you've just had solid oak flooring put in, don't forget to mention it. Why not put a pot of coffee on just before your morning viewing? If the sun is shining through the windows and there is the delicious smell of fresh coffee wafting round your home, you are off to a good start.
  3. If your buyer asks you about doing a deal prior to the auction then this is good - it shows they are keen. Don't come across too desperate even if you have been trying to sell your home for months. Simply explain that you have other viewings you still need to honour and that if they would like to make you an offer, you will happily think about it.
  4. Remember that the whole point of auctioning your property is to achieve the highest price possible by letting all the interested parties fight it out. Unless you are desperate to sell before your auction date, I recommend that you stick to your auction. If all else fails the interested buyer will probably bid on it anyway. So you have little to lose by auctioning it.
  5. Make sure you set a sensible reserve price. If you have been receiving offers of £200,000 before the auction, amend your reserve price to this figure. Do not keep it at £250,000. If you end up getting more than your reserve price then great. If you end up getting way more than your reserve price then even better. But the main thing is that you have a legally binding sale at the end of the auction.
  6. Whether you are using an estate agent, selling privately or using any combination of both, there is no harm in carrying out some simple marketing yourself. For example, send an email to everyone at your office and your sports club informing them of your property sale/auction. There is no need to rewrite all the details, simply copy and paste the URL of your property advert into a 2 or 3 line email. Ask these people to forward the email to anyone they think might be interested. This will take you a minute or two and won't cost a penny and it might just attract the notice of the eventual buyer.

Tips for Buyers

  1. Make sure you view anything you plan to bid on. It seems blatantly obvious but you would be amazed at how many people buy "blind" from auctions and then wonder why they end up losing money in the long run.
  2. It is not essential to have your mortgage or finance in place beforehand, however, my advice is that before bidding on a property, you at least make sure that you are going to be eligible for a mortgage (if buying with a mortgage) and you have a read through the legal pack that the seller has supplied their solicitor with to make sure it all appears to be there. Check that the title deeds have the same name as the person selling!
  3. Remember because you have direct contact with the seller you can view the property as many times as you like. So, if you have chosen not to spend money on a survey before bidding, why not take a friend to see the property who may know a bit more than you about spotting problems like damp, dry rot etc.
  4. Do not wait until the day of the auction to register yourself as a member. Before you can bid on an auction property, you need to have supplied us with some ID and proof of address. Even if you scan these and send them online (which is preferred) - it can still take a few hours before we manage to approve you. So do not leave registering yourself until the last minute. By doing this a day or two in advance you may well save yourself some stress on the day of the auction.
  5. It's tempting to wait until the last second to bid on an online auction these days. This is fine if you fully trust your PC not to crash at the vital moment. My advice is that you make your bids in good time. Buying your dream home is a thrilling experience and winning it at auction is the ultimate property thrill (!) so don't leave it down to an element of chance by waiting until the final seconds to bid.